London Fashion Week AW13: Day three highlights

Today I truly experienced the luxury and convenience of a concierge service. I’ve been working with Amex to experience all they have to offer this Fashion Week, which in reality means I’ve had cars booked to ferry me from show to show, my on-the-go catering needs seen to, plus all manner of other requests – small and large – dealt with. Amex asked me what my ‘pain points’ were during Fashion Week and I said transport issues, wi-fi issues and just general juggling of everything. So their clued-up team set to, booking cars to negotiate lazy Sunday traffic (allowing me to email, tweet and Instagram without having to navigate Google Maps at the same time) and used their insider knowledge to recommend reliable coffee-and-wi-fi pit stops. All this is available, I might add, to anyone at London Fashion Week, not just me. It’s what the iPad-wielding Amex Insiders are there for, stationed at Somerset House and in the Style Lounge at the May Fair Hotel, unmissable in their Jonathan Saunders colour-block outfits.

My first stop was a bleary-eyed 9am start at the towering Heron Building in Bishopsgate for the Preen show. Justin and Thea showed their best collection yet, inspired by Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, which translated as super-sharp masculine cuts in soft silks, chiffon (including a dramatic sheer leopard-print) and mohair knit. The surprise was the addition of zippered pockets and zip-off peplum-like bum flaps that looked polished, punky and sexy at the same time. I loved the beauty look as well – minimal faces with stark slashes pencilled underneath the eyes – by Mary Greenwell.




The up-in-the-clouds view from the heights of the Heron tower…

Post-Preen, an Amex-booked car appeared outside, to whisk me to Margaret Howell, free from the usual schlep and stress of weekend underground engineering works. Oh joy! As expected, Margaret Howell gave us the bother-free dressing that we love her for – over-the-knee kilts, military shirts, knitted berets and perfect, boyish coats…

From Margaret Howell it was but a genteel amble to Mulberry at Claridges, via this decidedly kitsch Sophia Webster window at Browns…

Mulberry was all about leather and outerwear for me, in particular the smooth leather capes and Mulberry-meets-Marni chunky tweed coats with huge furry collars. Oh and the snacks of course – bramble berry muffins served on chic gilt-edged plates. Being one of the only British brands with a significant advertising budget, it was no surprise at all to spot every bold-face editor from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar (US and UK editions), Elle, Glamour and Grazia in attendance…



Trend-wise, there’s definitely something Balenciaga-flavoured in the air, with extreme round shouldered silhouettes jostling against sharp, cubist shapes. That slightly awkward patchwork, angular, layered look seen lately at Proenza Schouler and Celine is becoming very prominent in London. It showed up in Whistles’ round-shouldered shift dresses and A-line, zipped skirts, and again at Nicole Farhi, where new creative director Joanna Sykes has infused its Anglo-French look with a more tailored, utilitarian edge…

WHISTLES

NICOLE FARHI


After a brief breather at the Covent Garden Hotel, (thanks to a recommendation from my Amex Insider concierge… a quiet haven to grab a coffee and catch up on emails) I was picked up by another car, complete with take-out sushi and snacks as per my strict instructions. Plus a bag of assorted LFW goodies. This I could very quickly get used to…

What’s so nice about having a concierge service at your beck and call is that they do all your thinking and doing for you. So yes, there probably is an app for most things, but can you be bothered with that? Especially if you’re from overseas and don’t necessarily have the knowledge and access to, say, an Addison Lee account, or the BFC timeline?

My driver deposited me at the Tate Modern in good time for the Topshop Unique show which was being live-streamed to much fanfare on Google+, where viewers could also play a ‘Be The Buyer’ game and shop some of the looks from the show. There’s definitely a growing move towards making fashion week a consumer experience, and the buzz that these types of initiatives creates also serves as an incredibly useful research and feedback tool for the brands. My vote went to the pops of red and blush pink – and here’s another sighting of the Balenciaga cubist collage look…



Oh wait, I forgot the most exciting bit! You know I don’t do celebs, but I did have a major fan-girl moment on exiting the Tate Tanks. Well wouldn’t you if you came face-to-face with P’Trique? Here we are obsessing over my new Kite Eden furry clutch…

Talking of which, my final appointment of the day was the launch of Kite Eden’s AW13 collection, where I was calmly deposited by my last Amex Insider cab of the day, neatly bypassing the post-Topshop mayhem. I anticipate great things for Sally Kite and Grace Eden (I featured them in my Next Big Thing article for H&M magazine) and here’s why. Simple shaped leathergoods (bags and gloves so far), in Rothko-inspired colour palettes, trimmed in luxe goatskin. Beautiful, no?



My last LFW highlight of the day? An illustration by Lula from Herself magazine for the House of Grazia event at Matches. Lula illustrated me (me!) and a bunch of my blog buddies for this afternoon’s blogger masterclass at Matches HQ. What do you think? I think it’s genius – I love my dainty little nose!

[Preen beauty image/T Magazine]

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY AMERICAN EXPRESS

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One Response to London Fashion Week AW13: Day three highlights

  1. The illustration is fantastic! Looks like a good day at LFW, wish I’d hung around.

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